Delonte West ready to go 'full tilt' this week

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Delonte West ready to go 'full tilt' this week

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Delonte West's season came to a screeching halt on the parquet three months ago against the New Jersey Nets.

It looks as though it'll be jump-started against the same club.

Both West and coach Doc Rivers are targeting Wednesday's game against the Nets as the likely return of West to the lineup.

On Nov. 24, West scored on a driving basket and came down awkwardly which resulted in a broken right (non-shooting) wrist injury.

The absence of West has been magnified in large part because the C's have been ravaged by injuries all season.

Even with so many players out of action with so many highly anticipated matchups on the schedule lately, Rivers said he has not been tempted to bring him back sooner than later.

West, however, has not been as patient.

"West tried to tempt me, wearing his entire gear in shoot-around today was a good message for me, taped," Rivers said.

West's availability will depend on how he fares in practices on Monday and Tuesday, Rivers said.

"Hopefully we can play him some minutes," said Rivers, who added that he would like to see him play about 10 or so minutes against New Jersey.

West has been doing his best to convince Rivers and the medical staff that he's ready to return ever since he returned to fully practicing with the team last week.

Prior to the Lakers game, West had the medical staff going back and fourth as to whether he should play. Because of the indecision, Rivers decided to sit him out.

"I want to play; I'm a player," West said. "We've been geared and trained for this, play through injuries or minor injuries. They're looking more for the big picture. They don't want me to get out there and re-injure it before it's right there at the finish line. A few more days. I'm going to be going full tilt."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Celtics-Cavaliers preview: Game 5 is about respect for Boston

Celtics-Cavaliers preview: Game 5 is about respect for Boston

BOSTON – From the outset of this season, the Boston Celtics were swimming upstream when it came to getting respect. 

No matter how many wins they racked up, no matter how many upsets they managed to pull off, they were never going to do enough to satisfy the court of public opinion which wanted one thing and one thing only from the NBA: A third installment of Golden State against Cleveland in the NBA Finals. 

The Warriors did their part by running through the West with 12 wins in as many playoff games. 

Meanwhile, the Celtics will try to not just stave off elimination tonight, but continue to delay what so many believe is an inevitable Golden State-Cleveland Final.

Boston’s Al Horford understands that while the league this season has seen lots of individual success as well as teams that have overachieved, the thirst for Golden State versus Cleveland remains stronger than ever. 

“We understand that’s what everyone has been talking about since the beginning of the season,” Horford said. “For us it’s just to focus … and play the Celtic way. And just come out here and fight and we’ll take it from there.”

The Celtics did that in Game 3 with Avery Bradley delivering one of the more memorable shots in the Brad Stevens era, a game-winning three-pointer that hit the rim four times before falling with 0.1 seconds to play as Boston squeaked out a 111-108 win.

Boston did a lot of good things in Game 4 and seemingly went into the half sensing that maybe just maybe they would even up the series at two games heading back to Boston for tonight’s Game 5 matchup. 

But Kyrie Irving picked up the slack for a foul-plagued LeBron James, lifting the Cavaliers to a 112-99 win which puts them now just a win away from advancing to the NBA Finals. 

Not only have folks both in the media as well as fans who have rooted for this series to be over, even merchandise sellers like Dick Sporting Goods have anticipated this series as already being over.

“It is what it is,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder. “It’s been like that all year; a lot of guys counting us out. At the same time, we’re trying to put ourselves in position to win each and every game.”

While that has been the goal, it certainly hasn’t worked out that way in this series. 

Despite Games 1 and 2 being at the TD Garden, the Celtics lost both games by a total of 57 points. 

And while they won Game 3 and had the Cavaliers on the ropes in Game 4 before losing, they know their chance to play NBA Finals spoiler is just about up. 

“We know that’s the Finals that everybody wants to talk about, what everybody is looking forward to,” said Boston’s Marcus Smart. “We understand it. But we work just as hard as these guys. We just have to keep going out there and working. We’re not going to give it to them, and stuff like that. We just have to make it tough on them.”